For years, I have been told that the perfect replacement for buttermilk is milk with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar added to it. That’s all I had been using in recipes that require buttermilk. I never knew there was a difference because I did not have anything to compare it to. The first time I tasted buttermilk was when I was 4 years old (the flavor left that large of an impression). I decided from that day on I would never have buttermilk in my house.
So, 37 years later I’m surfing the internet looking for the “perfect” pancake recipe. I found this one:
Best Buttermilk Pancakes
Makes nine 6-inch pancakes The key to fluffy pancakes is not to overmix the batter; it should not be beaten smooth. If serving these pancakes with bacon, reserve half a teaspoon of bacon drippings to grease the griddle instead of butter.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 cups buttermilk
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 1/2 teaspoon for griddle
1. Heat griddle to 375°. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, and 4 tablespoons butter; whisk to combine. Batter should have small to medium lumps.
2. Heat oven to 175°. Test griddle by sprinkling a few drops of water on it. If water bounces and spatters off griddle, it is hot enough. Using a pastry brush, brush remaining 1/2 teaspoon of butter or reserved bacon fat onto griddle. Wipe off excess.
3. Using a 4-ounce ladle, about 1/2 cup, pour pancake batter, in pools 2 inches away from one other. When pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around edges, about 2 1/2 minutes, flip over. Cook until golden on bottom, about 1 minute.
4. Repeat with remaining batter, keeping finished pancakes on a heatproof plate in oven. Serve warm.
How could I go wrong with a recipe from a website called “Perfect Pancake”? So, I made the recipe with my tried and (what I thought was) true buttermilk replacement. The batter was so thin I ended up adding at least one more cup of flour and the resulting pancakes were to ‘flour-y’. I thought I was just doomed to not have good pancakes (since I refuse to buy pancake mix).
Then, my husband broke down and bought some buttermilk. His mother always cooked with buttermilk but I can be one stubborn woman. I hate buying one item (or ingredient) that will only be used for one recipe.
So, we made the recipe as written and wouldn’t you know these were/are the best pancakes I have ever made! They also make the best waffles! So, I have been on a buttermilk kick!
I had never understood what buttermilk was. I know traditionally it was the milk left over from the process of making butter but also knew that is not what we buy in the store. That’s when I found this web page:
Thanks to this web page, I have made one and a half gallons (it would have been even more but we needed to have waffles last night before the latest batch was finished … had to use 3 cups of the store bought buttermilk for the recipe) from a half gallon container.
So now I am hunting around for recipes that call for buttermilk. I found one that I just had to try:
From “Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book – Revised and Enlarged” circa 1958:
Old-Time Cinnamon Jumbles
Made with buttermilk … delicately soft and cake-like. “So easy … that making them is a thrill for the girls in the Home Economics classes each year,” according to Miss Sarah M. Knight of Buffalo, New York. And even her little sixth-graders report making them with great success in their own homes!
Mix thoroughly …
½ cup soft shortening (part butter) (Brenda: I used only butter)
1 cup sugar
Stir in …
¾ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Sift together and stir in …
2 cups sifted flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
Chill dough. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls about 2” apart on lightly greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with mixture of sugar and cinnamon (1/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon). Bake until set but not brown.
Temperature: 400 degrees F (moderate hot oven).
Time: Bake 8 to 10 minutes.
Amount: About 4 dozen 2” cookies.
“Delicately soft and cake-like” is the perfect description for these cookies. They are VERY soft and have the consistency of a flattened cupcake. They are also very mildly flavored. I’m not sure what I expected prior to making this recipe but know I did not get what I wanted. I did not like the cinnamon on top but I’m not sure what I could have replaced it with so I would really like these cookies. I will not make this recipe again but thought I would share … I’m sure some will like this recipe.
I will not give up my search for buttermilk recipes! I’ll share more as I find them!